education sensory

Sensory Story: Dunkirk

Dunkirk: A sensory story compliments our Blitz story. They were written to support the teaching of the World War 2 history curriculum around the VE day celebrations in 2020. As with our other free sensory stories it was written for a PMLD group. Due to the nature of the content. This story does not link directly to the pupil’s own experiences but is designed as an immersive storytelling experience. We have more sensory learning activities here.

The Evacuation of Dunkirk Sensory Booklet.

I have made up the story as a short booklet with sensory resources and opportunities for movement on each page. Download the free PDF booklet using the button below. This is provided free of charge, adapt and use as you wish. I would really appreciate a share and credit if you use it.

Dunkirk: A sensory story. The Story/Poem

Dunkirk sensory story pdf download

The Evacuation of Dunkirk

I lie huddled on the beach, sand and grit in my hands and hair

I’m looking for my mates, smoke and noise fill the humming air.

It’s terrifying here, planes are zooming, whirling overhead

Dropping bombs, the sounds are filling me with dread.

We are trapped in Dunkirk in northern France

Retreating night and day, this is our last chance.

Desperately we lie here and stare at the empty seas

England and home, just a place in my memories.

I doze and dream about my family, friends and peace

I wonder as I wake when this awful war will cease.

There on the horizon, my eyes strain to see

It looks like a ship steaming through the sea.

We stand and shuffle into lines, waiting by the shore

A ship sails up and then explodes! I’m shaken to my core.

The Stukas scream and dive while we wait amidst the wrecks

Scared, cold and hungry soldiers, wondering what’s next.

The big ships have to wait their turn to land  at the mole

We need a miracle, the German planes keep taking their toll.

From out of the mist we start to see a thousand little ships

They sail straight up to the beach and do so many trips.

Finally, I climb on board and collapse upon the stern

I look back at my comrades patiently waiting for their turn.

Dunkirk: Sensory Storytelling poster.

If you find it easier on one page rather than in a booklet.

Dunkirk storytelling mat PMLD SEND worksheet

Suggested Sensory Resources

SandSmoke Effect (flour or icing sugar)Plane sensory umbrellaNet Curtain (smoke)White material (Smoke)
Yellow Material (sand)Blue Material (Sea)Red light (flames)FanWater Spray

Dunkirk Immersive Storytelling Free Sound Effects

Use these free war/battle sound effects to make your story more immersive. I often record these onto switches or into a powerpoint the pupils can control the sounds this way.

Movement Opportunities.

I had not included a propreoceptive element to previous sensory stories but this story lends itself to this. These link to each rhyming couplet.

Movement opportunities:

  • Lie in foetal position
  • Zooming plane – figure of eight arms extended
  • Marching, swinging arms
  • Lie down on back
  • Shaking hands walking around
  • Hand up to eyes (mock binoculars)
  • Shuffle walk into lines
  • Arms out lean forwards and backwards
  • Arms straight out together at front (being a big ship)
  • Move backwards and forwards, hands together on chest as little ship
  • Mime climbing up a rope 
  • Lie back and relax.
Dunkirk Sensory Story Free PDF for PMLD/SLD learners. WW2 teaching Resource

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